15 June 2012

A tribute to my treasured Grandma: You will always be loved

This is a post that is difficult for me to write. Just to write the words, is like someone twisting a knife in my heart. *Deep breath.* One whole year ago today my beautiful Grandma passed away. For six months she bravely fought through several heart attacks, major strokes and around a dozen mini strokes. There were so many times that we were told this was it and then she would just keeping getting better.

You could go see her one day and it looked like the end and then the next day she was sitting up in bed with her cappuccino telling me all about the dishy doctor, who's bum she wouldn't mind pinching. There were so many ups and downs and so much false hope.

I was desperate for her to hang on, she had so much to live for and was loved by so many. At the age of 84 she got herself a passport, so she could fly with my sister. I personally believe she just wanted to find a hunky Spanish man. Grandma died a week before my 18th birthday, which wasn't the best birthday present the birthday fairy could have given me. It was a very hard time and I hardly felt like celebrating, even though I knew that she would have wanted me to put my glad rags on, some killer heels and go and boogy my bum off.

She lived about two minutes drive up the road from my house, so one of us would see or speak to her daily. Like my other Grandma, she played a big part in my childhood and I can remember so many times sitting in her kitchen in the little gap that was just Second Hand Rose size and eating her amazing banana sandwiches, which in my opinion were her forte. I don't know what it was about them, but they tasted like no other ones I've ever tasted. The truth is I haven't been able to eat one since. Not even one with Nutella in.

I am so grateful that she was a huge part of my life and I have so many photos, videos and memories to look back on. Until she was about 79 she wore these two inch black heels every day. You could hear her coming down the drive and wherever she went she wore them. It was obvious that sometimes they were hurting her feet, but you could not take her out of her heels. That's something I've inherited from her, a love of heels!

Due to my Grandma's both having the same first name, we called her Grandma L'ily. Pronounced L-ily, not Lily. No one else called her that apart from my close little family. I still remember the times that I would walk in her house and the lovely smile and happiness she exuded, you would have thought that someone had given her a diamond ring. She loved being taken out by us for a coffee or to the garden centre and was never seen out without her precious lipstick.

Grandma was always so supportive in what I wanted to do and would love looking over my sketchbooks and seeing what I was up to. She used to love my purple lipstick and feather fake eyelashes and once told me off for coming to see her in hospital without them on. Grandma loved all my creations and proudly showed them off to whoever came to visit her. She loved this multicoloured feather dress that I made, so when we said goodbye to her I wore that with my purple feather eyelashes and coloured streaks in my hair. It might not be the usual funeral attire and I did get some funny looks, but I knew that I would have got some stick from her if I hadn't worn it.

She said my 'look' was amazing, the more extravagant the better and that she admired me for having the confindence to wear quirky clothes. She asked me to put my eyelashes on her, but sadly I never got the chance to see her with them on.

There is not an hour that I don't think about her and keep thinking to myself what she would think of things that I'm doing now. She never knew about this, she always encouraged me to do what I wanted to do and I know that she would be so proud of my little blog, even though I do ramble on an awful lot about Christian Louboutin's.
There are just little things that I'd love her opinion on, like my latest killer heels or my new lipstick. She never saw the loss of my long locks and I'd adore to see her surprised face at my short new haircut.

When she died I looked through a collection of her memories all boxed up. From pictures to anniversary cards and christening congratulations, I saw my Grandma in a new light, not just as the lovely lady I used to make cards with, but as a beautiful women who had a life full of love and happiness.

I certainly learnt through her photos that she was a right poser when she was younger and found many of her in her late teens, early twenties looking so happy and having a lot of fun. I wish I could have gone through them with her and heard all the gossip. I'm not gonna lie, I was secretly hoping to find love letters from a mysterious man or cards from a secret love child, everyone wants a family secret right? Maybe I've been watching too much Eastenders.

My grandma lives on through my family and especially my beautiful Mum. She had such a wonderful smile which has now been passed down to my mum, me and my brother and sister. My Mum has her heart and her kindness towards people, which I like to believe that I have. She was amazing at drawing and used to make cakes for people, which passed down through my mum to me.

What was clear was that even though my Grandad died sixteen years ago, she was still deeply in love with him. She used to keep a love letter from him in her handbag with her at all times and told me many stories repeatedly about how they met, when they got married etc. I just wish I could hear them one more time.

 I can't believe it's been a whole year since my whole world changed and my lovely Grandma was taken away from us and if you're reading this from somewhere Grandma, I hope you're proud of me and sitting there with some false feather eyelashes on and some fabulous heels.

All my love your Looby-Loo

Second Hand Rose

P.s. Don't worry I will return to my usual gushing about Clark Gable and general wit and sarcasm tomorrow.


  1. Wow. This has made me well up! Such a beautiful, bittersweet post. At times, I found myself chuckling away, and at times I was consumed by sadness! It's so obvious how much your Grandma meant to you, and my gosh, she sounds like she was one hell of a lady! I think her and Granny B would have gotten on!! :)

    I was super close to my Grandad who passed almost three years ago, so I know how tough it is to lose a Grandparent that has played such a massive, fulfilling role in your life. I have however absolutely no doubts at all that she would be SO very proud of you right now! I bet she's looking down at you with a grin, wondering where she can get some of those gorgeous eyelashes! It's amazing how alike you ladies look too, I can see now where your good looks have come from!!

    Keep smiling, and keep living life in a way that she would have loved! Well done for getting through today! xXx

  2. Dearest Rose, your grandma was obviously very proud of you and who you are and how you live and express yourself, and it is great that you know that and honour her memory. She will be highly approving looking down on you! xo

  3. Your Grandma would be incredibly proud.
    Not only for this post, but the beautiful girl that you are! This was such a beautiful tribute, I know that she's watching you from above, with those eyelashes and heels and smiling away.
    All my love, Elizabeth xx

  4. This is so touching!! In our culture we believe that there is life beyond this life and I'm sure wherever your grandma is right now, she must be feeling incredibly proud of you! I was extremely close to my grandmother too, and this post literally brought tears to my eyes! I came to this country after I got married and visited my country again after a year. It was only then we lost her and my family says she was actually waiting for you before leaving for the heavenly abode!

  5. This is so sweet. It's always hard when someone we love passes away, but at least she was at a nice ripe old age. I lost my grandma when she was 60 - it's just a shame that they aren't here to see how far we've come!


  6. Aaaw this is so lovely !! It's so nice you have so many beautiful memories .. She is so elegantly beautiful, and she will definitely be proud of how well she has raised her own daughter to produce you to be SOOO lovely, you obviously share the same warm caring heart, you're a credit to her !! Lots of love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  7. Writing this comment with tears in my eyes... This was such an unbelievably beautiful post... Bless your Grandma!!!

  8. What a sweet tribute! It sounds like your Grandma was a wonderfully lovely lady, one that was loved by her family to no end! My heart goes out to you since I know how it feels to long for one more moment with a loved one who has passed but I am glad to hear you have such happy memories of her to hold onto, it does make it easier in some small way.

  9. Thanks for your sweet comment, dear!

  10. oh what a beautiful post! My grandad passed away earlier this year, its very hard to come to terms with.
    I bet your Grandma would be so proud of you!
    Marie x

  11. What a wonderful tribute! She sounds like an amazing and inspiring woman! *hugs*

  12. This post is absolutely adorable! It's great that you are able to blog about her in this way and have so many amazing memories! The photos are beautiful and you definitely have her smile! So inspirational, I'm sure she is so proud of you.

  13. Such a beautiful post. Made me well up with tears and cry but also made me realise how happy I am to have known our beautiful Grandma. Yes- she must be so proud of you and I remember how much she loved all your fantastic dress designs. We have lots of wonderful memories to cherish her by. Beautiful post sister- really beautiful. Xxxxxxx

  14. Your grandma must be so proud of you! This post is beautiful, just like she was. Your blog is lovely and i cant wait to see future posts.

  15. Beautiful tribute Rose. Have tears in my eyes. I'm sure your grandma has read this and is mighty proud of you. Must say it has inspired me to be awesome so I can be a great grandmum to someone, someday, and, they just might write something as lovely as this when I pass away! Lol!


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